A knife should be something you can rely upon over and over again. You need quality, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get it.
I stock two models of knives made by Morakniv of Sweden and am located in Regina, SK in-person for sales.
*During the Covid-19 pandemic, all payments must be made via e-transfer and a contact free drop off or pick up will be arranged.
About the knives:
Morakniv of Sweden has been making knives for almost 130 years. They know their craft well. High quality Swedish steel and a commitment to simple, functional designs are the keys to their success.
By keeping their designs simple and their handles and sheathes very basic, prices can be kept low to make these high quality knives accessible.
My top two choices, and my personal go-to knives, are the Mora 511 and the Mora 120. In my opinion, they are a fantastic blend of quality, function, and price that outfit a carver with all they need for most basic carving, whittling, and wood crafting.
Both knives offer Scandinavian ground bevels that come to razor fine cutting edges which are sharp out of the box. This wide bevel makes them easy to maintain when the time comes to sharpen them yourself.
Both knives come with plastic sheathes – I highly recommend using an elastic band to act as a safety to hold your knife in place within the sheath.
For specific knife specs, click the model names for links to the official Morakniv website.
I am not affiliated with Morakniv in any way. I just like their products enough to recommend them to you, and have gone so far as to buy a stock of them to have on hand so you can easily purchase your tools. So, like, please buy through me cause I don’t need this many knives. Nobody needs this many knives..
Mora 511 Basic, carbon steel: $15 + HST
I bought my first 511 about 8 years ago. I thought it was an ugly little thing with its red plastic handle and its finger guard, but it was 13 bucks! Couldn’t go wrong! That knife has been with me on countless journeys, helping me cut kindling and shave tinder to start fires, baton wood, and carve spoons and other camp utensils. I’ve whittled with it for hours, processed fish and game, cut rope and roots, fished out slivers, made shims for sagging doors, and prepared suppers (at home and in the field). It has become one of my travel companions, through and through. I did make myself a replacement sheath, though… Like really, the plastic ones are not great.
I have bought at least 45 Mora 511s over the years to create class sets for teaching and for selling to students and carving enthusiasts.
The new Mora 511 offers the same quality, high carbon steel and hard-wearing handle (that they’ve refined to make look better).
inexpensive, durable, easy to sharpen, quality Swedish steel, great edge retention, comfortable handle.
Bright red handle for visibility, and being plastic makes it easy to clean and safer to process meats. The finger guard and pummel add to the safety for use in wet conditions and extra knife gripping techniques.
Cons: still kind of ugly, sheath is plastic and feels cheap and and requires elastics for reinforcement; finger guard can feel uncomfortable for some knife grips. Carbon steel is more prone to corrosion, so be weary around salt water, keep it clean and dry, and oil the blade occasionally.
Mora 120 Woodcarving, laminated stainless steel – $40 +HST
I love my Mora 120, simple as that. The fine tapered point makes carving curves and fine details a joy. The birch handle has developed such a nice dark patina over time. I have enjoyed getting lost in SO many whittling sessions where hand and tool become one and time disappears.
Haven’t gotten around to replacing the sheath yet, but I did whittle down the butt of the knife to add to its look and comfort.
The Mora 120 Woodcarving offers a laminated stainless steel blade, which means that it has the benefits of a very hard cutting edge for good edge retention, but still has the flexibility and resilience of a softer tempered steel from the metal which makes the bread of this three-piece metal sandwich. The birch handle is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also very comfortable with no ridges or textures to cause blisters. Another benefit of a wood handle is that it can be sanded down to fit your hand better if it feels too large.
Pros: super fine tip for carving corners and curves, short blade for details. Comfortable, pretty looking handle. Wide, Scandinavian ground bevels make it easy to sharpen. Still very affordable for the quality and great value for the competition.
Cons: have experienced more chips and rolls than with Mora’s carbon steel. The sheath is its biggest con, absolutely needs elastic to help keep it in place. But it is fair to say that most knives that are less than $50 will have a plastic sheath, too, if they have a sheath at all – it’s a place to cut prices for consumers (and manufacturers).
But the good thing is, sheaths can be made at home, or at least made more safe by modifications.
Please reach out to me by email if you would like to purchase your knives! Share with friends! Knife skills are a universally handy skillset. For more information on knives, knife sharpening, and whittling/wood carving, check out my Youtube Channel for my progressing video series on the topic!